Look at the audit as a learning opportunity. It is not an inspection - it's a review of program Must Do's and recommended practices.
- Despite having completed the VBP+ training, for the beef cattle producer to become fully certified on the VBP+ program they need to be audited. The audit is a check on how a beef cattle operation is applying the VBP+ program requirements. It's a review of records and observations used to determine if a beef cattle operation is meeting the requirements.
- VBP+ third party auditors are an objective and knowledgeable "outside eye" trained in ISO auditing. Auditors use a combination of observation, interviews, record reviews and listening skills to determine whether the beef cattle operation family or staff fully understand the program and can demonstrate responsible actions.
- To be eligible for a validation audit, cow-calf operations must have a minimum six (6) months of records and feedlots a minimum of three (3) months of records. These records need to be complete according to the program requirements outlined in the VBP+ Program Summary Checklist.
- Once ready, contact your provincial VBP+ coordinator who will assign an auditor. The auditor will then contact you to arrange a suitable time/day. The provincial coordinator will take steps to address potential conflict of interest between a producer and an auditor. Potential conflict of interest includes current or former business arrangements, family ties or close contact as friends.
- All VBP+ auditors follow strict bio-security protocols so, to protect animal health, you will be asked if there are any specific actions needed prior to them visiting the beef cattle operation.
- After the audit, the auditors submit a recommendation to the provincial coordinator who conducts a review, along with possible corrective actions, and notifies the beef cattle operation of the results of the audit. If there are corrective actions needed, these must be met before official VBP+ certified status is granted. For more detailed information refer to 'After An Audit' below.
- To maintain status, VBP+ certified beef cattle operations submit either a sample of records or a self-declaration checklist each year to the provincial coordinator. The VBP+ provincial coordinator will remind certified operations of their pending renewal and, once in hand, will review and provide confirmation whether program requirements have been met. The sequence occurs once annually and then in the ninth year, a full audit is required and the cycle continues.
- VBP+ also does random on-farm audits at no cost to the beef cattle operation during any of the Self-Declaration years to assess program conformance.
- To find information on a VBP+ audit cost contact your VBP+ provincial coordinator as costs may vary by region and may be reduced if more than one audit is conducted locally.